Inner Work,  Inspiration,  Practice

A Poem That Pierced Me.

In a brief stolen moment while my daughter was at gramma’s I meandered through a local used bookstore looking for treasures.  And what a treasure I did find! Amidst a stew of self-help books situated haphazardly on a giant bookshelf I found a book of poetry that went far beyond self-help and pierced straight into the heart of my Heart.  It is called The Breathing Field by a woman named Wyatt Townley who is a yoga teacher and poet in the U.S..  And, by the looks of it, soon going to be yet another amazing soul who’s immense current will inspire my own life.  If you’re out there Wyatt and ever read this, thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your yoga through poetry and for the moment of sheer awe you gave me in a sacred stolen moment yesterday.
I share the poem Corpse Pose here, with my interpretation to follow, in hopes that all who read this will spend time letting their armour be pierced by the rest of her book.The Corpse Pose by Wyatt Townley

At the end of your mat at the edge
of the beanfield, the orchard rises,
tree after tree, a door behind a door

behind the years that fling themselves
into orbit, running rings around
each other, counting the way back

to center.  We count back ourselves,
behind the children we’ve spun off,
houses we built, clothes we’ve shed,

flesh, muscles, bone, to the river that
underlies us, solid and fluid, trunk
and sap, vertebra and cord.  Close

the eyes and lean into the current.
Slide under the scars where meteors dug
their graves in us millennia ago.  Count

back, count sheep, count your blessings,
count your silver as your mother first
counted your toes, go back before the

numbers that put us in our places
where we have held firm ever since,
row on row, to the end of the beanfield,

at the edge of your mat where you are
still lying, with everything you ever had,
to see if this breath is your last.


I interpret this poem, here, only to let it absorb more completely into my soul, to let it integrate. And, I’m happy if that does the same for you and happy if it stands alone, as it surely can, to percolate in your own pierced Heart.

The edge of the mat, the critical space between dark and light, heaven and earth, right and left brain I hover, curious, terrified, elated.  I hover here, at the edge of my egoic identity where I have been held within the rigid, stoic lines of the beanfield I have planted over a lifetime of gathering things, credentials, wounds.

Beyond the beanfield an orchard rises, full of life, full of the fruits of the Unconscious, of Spirit, of Heaven and Hell.  At the edge of my mat, in the throes of this Corpse Pose I die a thousand times to my beanfield self and every time open another door to Freedom.  I open the doors to Freedom that lay behind years of chaotic biography, behind them, somewhere, I see the Center.  Behind and beyond my biography, beyond the seemingly rigid boundaries of my physical body, “I” fall away and become a river into which all dualities fall and dissolve.

I lean into the current, like I am leaning against the bosom of God, overwhelmed by tender trust.  This trust takes me beyond the wounds and traumas of my history and I begin to measure my sleeping gratitude with the same reverance as my mother looked upon my infant self.

I am back, now, before the things that we count ever counted, and with all my heart I remain present, watching in awe the Life that lives me NOW.